Part of building the church comes with reaching out to others who are not yet part of the Body of Christ. One way you can reach out to others and build your Sunday school class community is to pick a project to do as a class. The possibilities for this kind of ministry seem endless. You can work together to serve the homeless, clean up an elderly or needy neighbor’s yard, visit the nursing home on a regular basis, fundraise for a special need with a spaghetti supper, clean a city park, have a food pounding for a new neighbor or family in need, make blankets for orphans, etc. If you look closely at the people who live in your church’s community, I am sure you can find a way to reach out to others and be an extension of Jesus. “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service” (Billy Graham).
Hannah was a sorrowful woman who was persistent.
Some people have a “moody” or melancholy temperament. Was Hannah one of those people? Is it possible for God to use those people in His service?
Present the possibility to the class of engaging in various forms of community service on a regular basis. This venture will challenge students to think of others and to reach beyond the four walls of the church. Start by brainstorming about some options that could be considered. Ask individuals to share the types of volunteerism in which they currently participate or activities they have especially enjoyed in the past. It would be feasible to clean a home or yard for a shut-in or neighbor, or to visit a soup kitchen to serve the needy. Food could be brought along to encourage the interest and involvement of the group. There might be a girls' home or pregnancy center nearby to which the members could donate items. Some individuals may be unable physically to attend the outreach effort, but they could pray and/or donate toward the cause.
In "Word Focus" Glenn McClure writes:
The word for service is a religious word that means “service'' or “worship.” It is used five times in the New Testament, where it always refers to religious service, not secular. Thus, true reasonable service is literally a spiritual function (not an external function) whereby man's spirit is in communion with God's Spirit. Man's spirit is that part of his personality which reflects its closest and most intimate relationship. From such a fellowship with God, man's spirit not only reflects that Christlikeness which results from the association, but also responds in obedience to the will of Him who has justified his spirit.
Source: Studies in Romans: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 64.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (v. 42).
Twice, we have sold everything, and gone overseas to do mission work. Both times we sat on the airplane and wondered whether the people of the host country would accept us.
Acceptance in these cases was more critical than just our comfort. We knew both times that, were we accepted, we could more easily present Jesus. As mentioned in Matthew 10:42, sometimes our ministry has included giving a cup of cold water or a little food to someone, in the hopes of showing to him how much we care. Sharing Jesus has repeatedly meant cooking for hundreds of people. It has included gift giving, carrying baskets of food and other necessities into a village, fixing meals for national, Christian workers, preparing snacks for students, and making cookies for neighbors. But all the time the goal was to either eventually, or to show consistently the love and care that IS Jesus.
Yes, ministry is often most effectively done in the little things- with the cups of cold water. Certainly we have taught and preached, but so often it was our attitude of service that spoke the loudest according to the testimonies later heard. Do not be discouraged when your ministry is reduced to a cup of cold water. (Christina Black)
Let my hands perform His bidding…
…All for Jesus, all for Jesus
All my days and all my hours.
(Asa Hull; Public Domain)
This devotional is the Monday, July 18, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.
Lesson 8 - July 24, 2016
Focus Text: Revelation 7:9-17; 14:1-5
Central Truth: Faithful service to Christ leads to increased opportunities for service.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify at least three areas of life in which faithful service is required.
- Sealed (Revelation 7:1-8)
- Serving (Revelation 7:9-17)
- Singing (Revelation 14:1-5)